Introduction to CAFOs

The Mapping Virginia CAFOs Project, funded by the Commonwealth Center for the Energy and the Environment, is an interdisciplinary exploratory project of visual representation of the environmental impacts of factory farming.

 

An Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as an area where animals are "stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12 month period" and "crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility." Facilities are defined as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) if they are of a certain size, having more than 700 mature dairy cows, 55,000 turkeys, or 125, 000 chickens.